Falling Behind & Catching Up

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the late post today. I’ve been busy.

So it’s looking like I won’t make my goal of getting to 15K words for the month. I’ve had some major busyness but I did have a great writing day yesterday where I wrote over 2,200 words.

Sometimes we fall behind on our goals but if we put in the effort, we can get further than we would have if we hadn’t set the goal.

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I have a family project that I’m nearly finished with so that’s helping move me towards my goal as well.

I’ll let you all know next week how close I got 🙂

Accomplishing Goals

Happy New Year friends!

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I mentioned on Twitter in early December that I wanted to set a goal to reach the first pinch point of my novel by the end of the month. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term, it’s part of the three act plot structure that I loosely follow.

Act I
Hook: 1% mark. This opening moment is your opening scene—the first thing that happens in your story—possibly even the first line
Setup: 1% – 12%. Readers learn about your characters, their goals, and the stakes
Inciting Incident: 12% mark. A turning point occurs halfway through the First Act. This is the Call to Adventure, the moment the Normal World is significantly rocked by the conflict
Build-up: 12%-25%. The final pieces necessary for the main conflict are moved into position while ramping up the tension
1st Plot Point: 25% mark. The doorway between the end of the First Act and the beginning of the Second. Also likely to be the Key Event

Act II
Reaction: 25% – 37%. After the First Plot Point, the protagonist scrambles to understand obstacles thrown in her way by the antagonist
1st Pinch Point: 37% mark. A reminder of the antagonist’s power, which provides new clues about the nature of the conflict
Realization: 37% – 50%. Protagonists realization grows and her reactions become more informed
Midpoint: 50% mark. The Moment of Truth when the protagonist realizes the central truth about the nature of the conflict
Action: 50% – 62%. Thanks to her new understanding, the protagonist makes headway against the antagonist
2nd Pinch Point: 62% mark. Foreshadows Second Plot Point and serves to remind the protagonist what’s at stake
Renewed Push: 62% – 75%. Protagonist renews attack upon the antagonist. She reaches a seeming victory

Act III
2nd Plot Point: 75% mark. A dark moment for the character. After the victory at the end of the Second Act, she experiences a reversal
Recovery: 75% – 88%. Protagonist reels as she questions her choices, her commitment to her goal, and her own worth and ability
Climax Begins: 88% mark. This turning point forces the protagonist and the antagonist to finally face each other
Confrontation: 88%-98%. Duel to the (literal or metaphoric) death. What occurs here ensures protagonist and antagonist cannot both walk away
Climactic Moment: 98% mark. The moment the protagonist’s goal is met, it becomes a physical impossibility for the conflict to continue
Resolution: 98%-100%. Ease readers out of the excitement of the Climax and into the final emotion

When I set the goal on December 11th, I wasn’t close. I was in the build-up stage but I knew that this was a goal that would stretch me.

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As the holidays approached, I wondered if I would be able to accomplish it but I kept writing every day. Although it did feel pretty discouraging when I only had enough time to write a couple of sentences, I pushed through.

I wrote in the mornings on my family vacation before my husband woke up and kept working on it, even though it seemed loftier and loftier by the minute.

On the 29th, I felt a little discouraged because I had a few chapters left to write to get to the first pinch point and only wrote 50 words because we’d been at Universal Studios all day long.

Then on the 30th, my husband had some work that he needed to do on the computer in our hotel, so we stayed in and I wrote.

I still felt discouraged in the beginning because the scene I was on was super awkward and it made writing difficult.

However . . .

I got that scene written, then wrote through the next two chapters and the first scene of a third where . . .

I wrote the first pinch point!

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Setting good goals can make a world of difference.

I’m so much farther than I would have been otherwise.

I hope in this new year that you all set goals that will stretch you and enable you to do your best.

Happy goal setting!

Help Writing

I’ve still been in a writing funk but I got some advice that can help any writers.

“Read books (or short stories, novellas, etc) within the genre that you write in.”

Since Regency Fantasy is a relatively small genre, I’ve read a lot of books set in the Regency. My next plan is to read within the Fantasy genre, starting with some Brandon Sanderson. Reading helps to open the mind to new ideas and it also has helped me to see things that I want to avoid.

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If I want to be a good writer, I need to read what’s out there to improve my craft. It gets the brain working when it feels like it’s stopped.

If you’re stuck, try reading a good book. It will help.

The List of Awesome

Hey Everyone,

Sorry I missed posting last week. I had a total mind blank and couldn’t think of anything to say.

I’m working through a writing funk at the moment and it’s been more difficult than others have been prior to this time.

Usually when I’m stuck, if I just start writing about anything relating to my novel, it gets me into a groove and I keep going. That hasn’t been happening. Why?

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My friend Andrea who I’ve mentioned before, gave me the advice to make a List of Awesome for my novel. Things to add to the list are events that I think would be cool if I can fit them into the book.

Though I haven’t fully figured things out, it’s nice to have this list to go to for ideas of what should come next.

A Great Month

Hey Everyone!

So May became my best month for the year as far as word count goes. Thanks to #makemyownmotivation, I ended up at just under 10,500.

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Considering the busyness of my life with planning a wedding, working at my day job, and other obligations, I’m really proud of myself. I will hopefully do more than that in June but I suppose we’ll see.

It’s really amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Have a great weekend!

A Good Week

Hey Everyone!

I’ve gone a week of making my own motivation and it’s been awesome. I’ve written over 5,000 words and am moving right along in the manuscript.

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If you want to join in on making your own motivation, feel free to tweet with the hashtag #makemyownmotivation. I’ll follow along.

Finding what helps you to make your own motivation can make all the difference in the world.

Good luck!

Making Motivation

I’ve found that in the last couple weeks, I’ve lost a lot of motivation in my writing.

Storymakers was good in giving me direction as to where I wanted to go but my motivation to write has been lacking.

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After much thought, this morning I decided to make my own motivation.

I got to work and after doing a few things that I needed to around the office, I set a timer for myself and wrote for a 15 minutes blitz.

That produced nearly 300 words.

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The great thing is that it’s the beginning of the day for me. I’m going to do at least 2 other 15 minute blitzes today, trying to get up to at least 1,000 words.

That is something I really want to work to because I haven’t gotten over 1,000 words in over a month.

My goal for now is to take time each morning when I get to work (after taking care of anything pressing) and write for 15 minutes.

I’ve realized that if my writing is important to me, I need to take time for it. My life may be busy, but that won’t change.

I need to make time for the things that are important.

[note: due to the Storymakers heads sending a message to the conference attendees about not posting notes to respect the intellectual property of the presenter, I won’t be posting those].